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Long-Term Mission

Posted on 21 June 2023 by Global Connections

Person in a field deciding about long term mission organisational and roles.

Partnership

Think about how this organisation might work alongside your church and maintain links once you’re abroad. Talk with your church leaders and use their wisdom to help you in the decision-making process - they need to be willing to partner with the organisation in sending you.

Narrow it down

Once you have some idea either of the type of work you could do, an area of the world to work in, or a people group you would like to work amongst, you can begin to narrow the field considerably. Look at those organisations that are of most relevance, read some introductory information, and pray about your choice.

Need

On the other hand, it is good to consider where there is most need. Think and pray about your involvement with organisations working in areas and places where people are most unreached. Be prepared to be challenged or re-directed. Perhaps there is more need for you in places or projects which you haven’t yet considered.

Fit

Look for a ‘fit’ with the organisation you are thinking you might go with. Do you and your church share their vision and values? Check out their mission and vision statements. If possible, go along to one of their events in the UK to meet some of the team and learn more.

Theology

Examine their theological or doctrinal statement – and their outworking of that. What is important to them and does it tie in with what’s important to you? (e.g. if you’re charismatic, is it charismatic? If you’re reformed, is it reformed?) Is your church also in agreement?

Care

Will you (and your family) be looked after whilst you are serving with this agency? What level of pastoral care do they provide - in the UK and overseas? Do they have good support systems in place? What about if you run into difficulties? And are they also willing to help on your return?

Sense of calling

Talk with the mission organisation about your sense of how God is guiding you – is it to a people, a place or a cause? Or something else? To what extent are they willing to explore the area of 'calling and guidance with you?

Preparation

Ask about the selection process and what happens if you are selected and choose to go with them – do you understand and are you and your church comfortable with the process? What orientation, training and debriefing do they provide?

Finances

Ask about the financial arrangements – what systems are in place and how much money do you need to raise (if you do)? What help will they offer with this? Is your church also willing to partner with you in this way?

Research

If possible, speak to a missionary or someone who already works for the organisation you're thinking of joining and in the area you're considering. See what you can learn from their first-hand experience of working with this agency.

Suitability

Remember too that the organisation needs to consider how well you might fit into one of their teams – they also need to select you! It's a two-way process. Are you willing to submit to their guidance?

Your church

A further reminder - your home church has the key role in sending you and is the place to begin any discussions about the possibility of you working overseas. Are you also willing to submit to their guidance and direction in this process?

The local church is not some speed bump to work around for the sake of fulfilling the great commission but rather is the God-ordained, Spirit-filled, Jesus'-blood-purchased, living organism through which God will fulfil his redemptive plan.

The Sending Collective
A library representing the resources in the Global Connections Network

"Search for an opportunity with the attitude that it’s a chance for you to serve God and his church throughout the world, rather than focussing solely on what you initially think is best for yourself – you might be amazed at how God could use you."

Anon
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Long-term opportunities around the world, and a variety of short-term placements and schemes in the UK and overseas